tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 27, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
next year maybe kids can penpal. we will work on that. a lot of them don't have electricity. so, and postage by the way will be a real challengeth. i would love them to have communication. and the wonderful paem. gep, thank you very much. we are now up to $5 million and the grand total is $5.2 million. almost $5.3 million and we have still hoping for more. thank you again for the help you have given this year.
the bell tolls, it will be tolling for you. leading off tonight, josh green and chris frates of "national journal." you don't have to be as clear as i but try, gentlemen, tonight. it looks to me like one party, once again it's asymmetric. both parties are not screwing around, one is. is that true? >> i think both parties want to go over the cliff. >> both want to go over the cliff? who will get blamed? >> i think republicans will get blamed, but i think republicans at this point fear casting a career-threatening vote to raise taxes instead of waiting four days and letting the cliff -- >> and then they can technically say -- >> they're voting for a tax cut. >> do they presume the voters are that dumb? they think there's a difference? they might think that. >> they might. >> do they think the voters are that dumb to think three days difference in how you vote with the exact same result exonerates for having been an apostate on the hard world tea party? >> i think a lot of the republicans aren't worried about the general voter at large or
what the national polls say -- >> only their base is stupid. they think only their base is stupid is what you're saying? >> they're worried about a primary on the right -- >> why would -- >> i don't want a democrat coming at me -- >> i know all that. let's get to the bottom line. they are arguing in their minds that they're safer to vote to keep the country going next week sometime rather than this week because they believe that the people who think they're great on the hard right will be confused. >> i don't know they're betting they will be confused, but they're betting they will be after january 1st voting for a tax decrease and not voting to raise taxes on anybody, and that's really easy to explain in a bumper sticker. >> explain to the voters out there who have clear minds exactly the thinking that goes into if you let the government default or whatever goes on this weekend, because basically defense spending will be cut and we'll have new payroll taxes and all tax rates will go up on income tax and estate taxes and all the bad stuff will happen, and how that's good politics.
>> look, politicians are creatures of narrow self-interest. from the self-interested standpoint of a republican house member from a safe district who fears a primary challenge, yes, it's better for them to wait three days, cast -- go over the cliff, cast a vote to cut taxes and basically screw all the people who are going to be affected by it preserving their own jobs than it is to agree to a tax increase now and risk the wrath of the tea party right two years from now. >> chris, let me ask you about another possible, i hope it doesn't happen. next tuesday or next wednesday when the market reopens on january 2nd and they fully realize at that point that this cliff has been gone over and the congress has failed to meet its own targets which it set itself when it set this cliff up, who will pay the price if, say, the market drops 500 or 1,000 points and keeps dropping for two or three days and that creates the chances for a second dip, a second recession? who will be responsible for that occurrence if it happens? >> i think right now people will say republicans will be
responsible, but it will have the effect if that happens for, as you point out, a couple days, a couple weeks, to also hurt president obama because he is also steer -- >> i agree. >> he's a guy who if the markets are tanking people look to the president and say, why don't you do something, get these guys to get on board -- >> i understand. >> -- and get it done. >> i think you're right. i think everybody gets hurt but mostly republicans. late today on the senate floor majority leader harry reid said what has become more and more obvious. the prospect of reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before january 1st is very unlikely. that's putting it lightly. let's watch. >> there's 435 members of the house. what goes on in this country shouldn't be decided by the majority. it should be decided by the whole house of representatives. the speaker just has a few days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president, i don't know timewise
how it can happen now. >> well, that was plain. this afternoon senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said he wasn't willing to offer the white house a blank check just because we're on the edge of the cliff. take a look. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> well, actually it's not a blank check the president has been pushing. and this isn't a partisan statement. look at the numbers in terms of what the public thinks about what the president ran on, which is to raise taxes for people who make over $250,000 a year. 47% of the country basically agrees with that, which is what he said. only 13% raise taxes for everybody.
they are the real conservatives and fiscally hawkish i would say. and 35% say no tax increase. so americans tend to agree with the president. when you go back to this campaign, there are very few other statements he made as clearly or as relentlessly as i'm going to bring back tax fairness this way. so for mitch mcconnell, who certainly is a smart guy, to say request that the president is asking for a blank check, he's not. he's asking for the check that was written by the voters. >> the problem, that emphasis, what voters wanted was re-emphasized in the failure of plan "b" which would have at least raised taxes on millionaires -- >> and they couldn't even get that. >> one reason that was so damaging is it was essentially a value statement for the republican party of what they're standing up for and who they're standing up for. it's going to hurt them if we go over the cliff. >> chris, you're on capitol hill. it gives you date line integrity. how come there's no sense of urgency? they are all home like it was boxer day in england.
they're wearing their socks, walking around the house, whatever they're doing, enjoying their life. nobody is running around like i am wondering what's going to happen. how do you explain the lack of worry up there? >> from a republican standpoint, the house being out is a lever to try to get the senate to put something on the floor, and speaker boehner has been very clear it's the senate's turn to act. senate dems aren't taking that bait. they feel like they'll put something on the floor. if they don't have republican consent for it, they will have to pull it or see it go down in flames, and then republicans can point to their failure and say, hey, look, they failed, too. so democrats are wary of kind of falling into this trap that republicans they feel are trying to set for them, and so there's this kind of staring contest up here where everybody is looking at everybody and it's like watching a slow motion car crash. >> using that metaphor of a staring contest, can you see anybody blinking? everybody thought -- i guess they thought first of all that boehner would blink and he'd take on his tea party and say i
only want 50 or 75 votes. i don't need you crazy people. i just need a few normal people, and we'll get 150 democrats, and we'll pass something. he didn't blink and do that. is there any chance he will before monday? >> i think there's a chance if harry reid and mitch mcconnell can blink together, they can come to agreement to bring something to the floor and move forward, then and only then will they blink, but both have to hold hands and jump into the pool at the same time. >> but mitch mcconnell is worried about, what, ashley judd running against him? what is he really worried about? i'm just kidding because he's not worried about the general election. he's worried about a primary election like a rand paul. >> and the other -- >> by the way, he is from rand paul's state. it's possible. >> he is. the other thing to keep in mind is boehner's speakership vote is up on january 3rd. >> but you -- everybody keeps saying that, but to vote against the speaker who is the caucus nominee, let's face it, he is the nominee of the republican party. to not vote for the speaker is a major act of betrayal on the part of any member of the congress.
you have to that day -- >> the idea if he goes and forces through a tax increase, they could express their dissatisfaction, their unhappiness, by not voting for him for speaker. it takes a majority of the full house for him to get elected. a couple dozen of those guys -- >> i know this stuff. >> for the sake of the viewers. >> but for the sake of me, there used to be a sense of doing the right thing, and by the time you're the party nominee for speaker, you vote for the party nominee for speaker. you don't just screw around with this thing because that would elect pelosi. >> if you want to see politicians do the right thing, turn to tnt and you can watch "mr. smith goes to washington." >> is that the craziest thing, that the people would vote against boehner for speaker would vote pelosi into the speakership. >> they wouldn't have to vote for pelosi. they could vote for newt gingrich -- >> but pelosi would get the most votes. >> you need to get 218. they would need to find a nominee who had 218.
i don't think boehner would ever lose, but i think it would be a big symbol, a very big kind of vote of dissatisfaction among his republicans. >> chris, you know what we don't need right now is another symbol. how about complete chaos. thank you. wait until you see the headlines the next couple days, but the grown-ups who write front pages are going to go these guys are nuts. thank you, chris, up on the hill and, josh, for enlightening us for the purposes of the viewer. coming up, the man in the middle of the republican circus, john boehner. let's figure out this guy. what is his story? he's the leader of the party that doesn't want to be led by him or anybody. they don't even -- well, it's not even actually a political party. it's a faction of tea party people telling the most republicans that they're not playing ball with them. also tonight, hating hillary. that was the intriguing idea behind a politico story. when will the right learn to rekindle its hatred for hillary. everybody played the hillary
card lately saying how great she was on the right so they could make obama look bad. at some point they will have to confront hillary clinton herself as the chief democrat in the country. when will they pivot? if you're worried we'll soon be governed by sharia law, have no fear. republicans are keeping us safe from something that was never going to happen anyway. that and other low lights there 2012 in the "sideshow." and finally my hopes for the upcoming year, especially from the president. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
massachusetts congressman ed markey announced today his candidacy for the united states senate seat held by john kerry who president obama has nominated for secretary of state. markey is a friend and respected guest on "hardball" and has been in the house since 1976. he's the dean of the massachusetts delegation, and he has the best values of anybody i know in politics. if he gets the democratic nomination for the senate, he could wind up running against scott brown who won the seat in 2010, then lost it last month. the special election is likely
welcome back to "hardball." when john boehner failed to bring his so-called plan "b" to a vote last week because he didn't have enough republican support to pass it, the speaker abdicated his role in the fiscal cliff talks. he said it was up to the u.s. senate and the white house to do something. the sad reality is that boehner is leading a dysfunctional caucus with a vocal minority of tea partiers who can hold up the chances for any deal. today harry reid accused boehner of caring more about his re-election as speaker than getting something done. take a listen. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> what is boehner's game plan? does he even have one?
ryan grim is washington bureau chief for "the huffington post," and glen johnson is politics editor for boston.com. i worked on the hill for years. you cover the hill and know it. that was a very personal shot from harry reid. is it accurate to say, open question, that speaker boehner is worried about staying speaker? >> yes. he's definitely -- i think he's not worried about his election on january 3rd, but that's not the end of it. you know, i think he's worried about his speakership every day he's speaker -- >> do you agree with that, he's worried he may be losing out or being thrown out of the speakership by his own party? >> for sure. he spent the first two years of his speakership looking over his shoulder as the camera shows of eric cantor right behind him ready -- >> but cantor is with him now, isn't he? hasn't his number two guy joined him? >> he's his number two guy and supporter, but he's the spiritual leader of the tea party caucus there, and that's the group that seems to be calling the shots right now in the house of representatives. >> let's talk about the republican party. let's try to be really
analytical here. you know, to me two things happen in every election. one, somebody wins, somebody loses, and then there's the other part of every election, a signal is sent, which way the country wants to go. it's a verdict that goes out to the people who got re-elected. careful, buddy, careful, lady, you could be next. isn't there a sense in the republican party that obama won a comfortable re-election? >> yeah but -- >> yeah but. >> that was boehner's mistake. >> he thought that was reality. >> he thought that was reality, and he learned the other night that it wasn't. >> republicans don't see it in that world. what covers the sky in their world? >> it's not blue. >> fiscal red. >> it's not blue, that's for sure. when he realized he couldn't round up the votes, he had to recognize that they did not respond to the election the way that other rational factions have responded to elections over the past decades or centuries even. >> what do we make, glen, of this captain queeg we have, scared of his own crew, scared of weather conditions, worried about what's going on and still has to be captain? >> i mean, the simple reality is he's the speaker of the house,
but each one of those people runs in their individual district, and these tea party members in particular, the group that cantor has the most control over or represents the most, they answer to an electorate that feels very much in sync with them. so this isn't just some issue for them. voting for a tax increase is just something that's anathema to them and their constituents, and that's the problem that boehner has had the whole time. i'm going to test you. when you're speaker of the house and you're like this, can i make a deal with the president, i'd like to make a deal with the president, this is good government. you're thinking who do i have to check with? i have to check with the president and get the best offer and then who do i check with in my own republican land? i go to eric cantor and he tells me what? >> he already has this covered, to boehner's great credit. he brought paul ryan in, eric cantor in, mccarthy in who might be the one -- >> the guy from california. >> yeah. and he brought them all in on this plan "b" and all on the negotiations. so he's covered there. he needs mcconnell. if he can get mcconnell and a couple senate republicans, then --
>> what about the body of 40 or so tea partiers who are holdouts. how does he reach them? the ones necessary for any kind of majority? >> he doesn't necessarily need them. if he can get senate republicans, then -- >> is that his game right now to go around his hard core right? >> it is. because then the hard core right isn't just blaming john boehner for all the troubles of the world. they're also -- >> can he allow the house of representatives to work its will with the minority of republicans? >> yes, he can. >> glen, is this your view? if we get a solution next week, it's probably because the speaker allows a minority of republicans, maybe less than 100, to agree with some 120 democrats and out of that will be a deal because it came through the senate somehow that they both had to go that way. is that how it looks like it will develop here? >> that was the undercurrent to what harry reid said today is if this guy opens this up and tries to let some of these house democrats vote and some of the more moderate republicans, they can get a deal through that chamber, and i think that's the calculus for a deal.
>> both you guys, ryan and glen, first ryan, can a successful resolution of this leave boehner as a strong speaker or will he be inevitably weakened by any deal, any deal? >> he's already weak. he can't get any stronger through this, no. >> so this is going to hurt him no matter how it ends up? >> i think he's already taken the damage, and i know they're open to doing it with democrats -- >> your view, glen, does this hurt him if he's seen as -- i know this because it happened to people like charlie crist and anybody who has dealt with -- and robert bennett when he was working with another democratic senator, all you have to do as a conservative is vote with a democrat on anything and you're mistrusted by the right. >> yeah, for sure, but also there's also another battle every other day in congress, and so if john boehner can get the house through this moment, you know, eric cantor doesn't necessarily want to be speaker because then all these problems
fall in his lap. if he has a chance to get the house through this present crisis and move on to other issues there are -- >> if he can get through this, he can survive. the question is whether speaker boehner really is in control of his caucus. earlier this month he raised the ire of several on the right when he removed several heads of committees. the whole episode gave boehner the feel of a substitute teacher who is accountable for what happens in the classroom but isn't really in control of the kids. well, that's pretty good. after boehner's plan "b" failed, conservative columnist jennifer rubin wrote this, quote, his caucus has rendered boehner a nonplayer in any future fiscal negotiations because he can no longer speak for his conference. perhaps boehner should quit and let the house gop stew and wait for the country to grab pitchforks. they are acting like a minority party or petulant teenagers. i'm not sure if she's saluting that wild behavior.
>> she might like that. they are a minority party within the house. you had said earlier they're kind of a faction within a party. they're almost their own party at this point. >> let's go -- you seen "lincoln"? have you seen "lincoln," glen? >> yes, i have. let's talk about the same republican party that was founded back in 1850s. it seems like it's made up of two different groups of people. one, the whigs or the establishment people, and that's boehner and a few other guys like him, reasonable republicans from the burbs, don't vote crazy right, they know we have to have a government, and they want it to work. joined by the abolitionists. is there he any way they can reach some sort of coming together the way lincoln was able to put the party together? you first, glen. can this party operate as a functioning, governing party again or is it always going to now be a division between the abolitionists who want to get rid of everything and the whigs who believe in the establishment of government? >> i think that's the question of our political moment here right now. i mean, you know, the proverbial chain is as strong as its weakest link.
well, in this case the house and the leadership that the republican leaders have in congress is going to be dictated by this very hard right tea party caucus, and so they're not in a position of strength. they're in a position of -- excuse me, they're in a position of strength. that dictate what issues get tackled and the interaction between congress and the presidency. >> as long as the hard right is only afraid of the hard right back home, the further hard right, they have a lot of strength. >> yeah, and i don't think this type of party can become a governing party for those reasons. >> do they want it? do they want to? >> some of them don't. some would rather go down fighting. >> you can survive in congress for 30 or 40 years simply issuing press releases trashing the government. >> easily. >> that's all you have to do. >> there's 100-plus that could be there forever. >> they're all stuck with the committee chairs. the democrats would love to be the committee chairs, and the republicans would love to be the ranking opposite member who doesn't have to do anything. it's so bad. anyway, what a disgrace. ryan grim, thank you.
and then there are good decisions. like esurance. their coverage counselor helps you choose the right coverage for you at a great price. [ stomach growls ] esurance. now backed by allstate. click or call. back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." a good one i said. first, the right way to legislate. think progress is out with a round of some of the most out there legislative moves we saw from the republican's side this past year. some "hardball" favorites from the list. first, how about banning the terms climate change and sea level rise from a request to study the causes of coastal flooding? that's exactly what happened in virginia in the republican-led legislature. the study could not get approval for funding until "left wing terms" were yanked from the proposal like climate change and sea level rise.
second, state bans on sharia law. florida and kansas passed laws banning islamic law in their state. a spokesperson for kansas governor sam brownback said, quote, kansas courts will rely exclusively on the laws of our state and nation when deciding cases and will not consider the laws of foreign jurisdictions. it's anybody's guess why we need a law confirming we follow the laws of our own country. seems redundant. next, newt gingrich gets outshined by the sound of his own cell phone. he was talking about what went so wrong for republicans this past election when this happened. >> the romney campaign was wrong. they thought they were going to win. if you talked to them at 5:00 on election day, they would have told you they honestly believed they were going to win. i also think that -- the country is going to vote to be in a different position, and i think we have got to understand that -- >> is that a ring tone? what ring tone was that?
>> i have two ring tones. i have "dancing queen" is my general ring tone for most people, and then my wife's ring tone is "super trouper." we stay with abba all the way through. >> well, that was, in fact, "dancing queen." anyway, it's not the first time abba has caused newt to pause from politics. >> immediately allow for implementation that day of the pipeline. i had to cut off my son. that was "dancing queen." i didn't have to answer it. if it's "super trouper," it's my wife, i have to answer. i should have turned the phone off. next, what money can't buy. the sunlight foundation is out with a list of congressional candidates actually who spent more than $35 per vote in the 2012 election. topping the list is michele bachmann. she narrowly won her bid for re-election and dropped $140 per vote in the process.
right beneath bachmann, it's alan west. west spent about $110, $2 less than michele, and lost his race. finally, what's a woman in a bikini have to do with the fiscal cliff? ask "the new york post." there she is on today's front page leaping off an actual cliff. "off the fiscal cliff, this fall is really going to hurt." that's what they said. up next, it used to be a favorite republican pastime, going after hillary clinton. it hasn't happened for a while, of course, but what if she does run for president? how could they resist doing it again? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. she knows you like no one else. and you wouldn't have it any other way. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough
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>> they nailed susan rice. they nailed the -- they were going after everybody but the secretary. >> but now when she had this concussion, i heard some snide voices on the right about is this really a concussion -- >> you mean john bolton. >> i feel if she ends up testifying next month maybe that's the pivot point. if not then, it's going to be soon. i think it's a question of you have one major political party that devotes itself to tearing somebody down. doesn't mean she can't win in 2016. the reason she's at 70% is
because a lot of republicans have forgotten they're not supposed to like the clintons. they will get that message in the next year or two. >> my respect for this senator went through the roof when she ran for the senate in upstate new york, rana, because she could have taken a lot of hell from people who are not rooting for her if she had lost that race. she didn't need to put everything on the table in new york state, and she did it, which is the test of political guts to run up there in upstate new york, and she won a good race. she is unbeatable up there. i think she will run for president if she wants to. i don't see any evidence of fear. my question -- i have to always bring this up, when i'm at a dinner party with people, i say how many of you secretly personally believe she's going to run? how many secretly personally don't think she's going to run? popular opinion she's going to run, but every time i put that to a jury of 12 people, it's about even. so people have their own personal reasons -- you're shaking your head, steve, so you get it first. people think, 12 years of intense pressure on you.
4 years of running, 8 years of serving, into your late 70s. does anybody want to inflict that on their lives at the end of their life basically? your thoughts? >> i think there's a compelling case she doesn't run. 1992 they came to the national stage, and they have been on the national stage since then. for 15 of those 20 years all the way through 2007 she was -- she and her husband were the top targets of the right in this country. she called it the vast right wing conspiracy. there was something to that. it's not that they absolutely will beat her in 2016, i think she could beat them, but it's an issue of do you want to endure that kind of day-to-day attack politics, vicious politics, for another four years, for another eight years, or do you want to say i have proven enough in public life and i want to do something else? >> i don't know. i think she showed no signs of her energy lagging as secretary of state, and that's a pretty tough job, too. i'm not saying it's as vicious as running for president, but i didn't see her slowing down, and i think she will run.
>> let me ask you about the ideology. where do you think she stands politically? would you put her where i put her on foreign policy to the right of obama? rana? >> i would. >> and safer politically for an election in a general election given the fact people normally want to switch parties every eight years. you don't want to run as a xerox of obama. your thoughts. >> i do think she's to the right on foreign policy. i think what's going to be really interesting is seeing where she is economically. she's been very savvy about using economic statecraft to advance foreign policy goals for the u.s. it will be interesting to see what she brings to the economic debate because i think that's still going to be a debate in the next election. jobs. how to grow, how to get the country back on track. it will be really interesting to see where it comes off. >> i have you as a feminist, everybody is a feminist right now. it's a good position to be in politically. do you think she will have an unusually high draw among women voters? and that's maybe a dumb question, but could she get up to 65% or 70% of the women voters as opposed to 55%.
>> that would be a high number. if anybody can do it, she can. i see her having tremendous strength there, and that's a demographic trend that's already -- that train has left, as we know. so i think she can ride that. >> steve, do you think she could get up to 70% or 65% or 70%? right now the democrats get 55% to start with. could she do something historically that blows the other party out of the game because of her dominance of female voters? >> yeah, i'm not sure in a general election you could do that, but i think the difference is this. if you look at the two reasons why she lost the democratic primaries to obama in 2008, one was the iraq war, that foreign policy. and the idea that democrats thought maybe she's too polarizing. obama is the uniter, clinton is the wars of the 1990s all over again, too many people don't like her. i think the best thing republicans have done for hillary clinton in the last four years is they have taken that argument away. no democrat can come along in 2016 and use that argument against her now, that she's a uniquely polarizing figure. she's as polarizing as anybody else. >> here is my view, get a whole
new team around you. the team you ran with last time was a disaster. get people who want to enlarge your coalition. they should have built a very big national campaign the way bill clinton was able to do. thank you, rana foroohar. and thank you, steve kornacki, as always, my colleague from the network we both serve. thank you. see you all in the next year. up next, the election is over. now it's time for president obama to get things done, and he has less time than you might think. strategizing a second term. let's talk the future. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
there's been a lot of talk about gun laws since the shootings in newtown, connecticut. one result seems to be increased support for tougher gun laws. 58% of americans polled say they want to see stricter gun laws as opposed to 34% who wants things kept the way they are. compare that to a year ago when only 43% wanted to see stricter laws. it's worth remembering, however, that support for tougher laws often spikes and then fades after mass shootings. of course, the nra always stands in the way of any new or reviewed restrictions, but, of course, we all know that. and we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball." president obama has a critical period of time at the start of his second term when he can set the course for the next four years. presidents traditionally have less than two years to make a mark in their second terms before their power starts to fade, and president obama is still facing a republican house that acts as though this election of last november never happened. how will he strategize for maximum leverage on the following issues, guns, our relationship with iran. joining me is david winston and blake zeff. thank you for joining us. let's talk about the thing we just talked about during the cluster here. guns. can the president -- will he put himself behind something on limiting the size of these magazines, getting them down to say five or so bullets, willing to go after what feinstein is pushing, dianne feinstein, something on assault weapons.
is there something he can go for and win because it seems to me losing will not get him any points. your thoughts? >> i think he's clearly announced that's the direction he's going to go. look, when you have an event like this, i'm very pro-second amendment, but when you see something like this occur, it causes you to think through in terms of your beliefs, do you continues to hold those beliefs given what happened. i still do, and obviously the president is going -- >> what's the smart move though? is it magazine side, mental health and -- >> you just got to it. i would suggest where he can make some significant process is the mental health side of it. when you look at what happens to gabby giffords, at virginia tech. >> give me john hinckley.
something on limiting the size of these magazines, getting them down to, say, five or so bullets. willing to go after what feinstein's pushing, dianne feinstein, something on assault weapons. is there something he can go for and win? because it seems to me losing will not get him any points. your thoughts. first of all, david. >> well, i mean, i think he's clearly sort of announced that's the direction he's going to go. look, when you have an event like this, look, i'm very pro second amendment, but when you see something like this occur it causes you to really think through in terms of your beliefs do you continue to hold those beliefs given what happened? i still do. but i think there's -- and obviously the president's going to go a different direction -- >> what's the smart move, snow the magazine size? i'm being grossly -- gross here, but this is the horrible case. how do you stop a person with some mental ability from doing something really, really bad? blake, what can the president do on guns to give himself a point in the history books? >> well, i'll tell you, the first thing is, just because something, you know -- a measure can't solve every single gun case like the one you just mentioned doesn't mean we should oppose those measures. and i think one way we can get at some of those cases where you're dealing with people who are dangerously mentally ill is to close that gun show loophole, right? so 40% of guns are purchased at gun shows where there are no background checks required. if we tighten that up so that you do have background checks, i think that will stop a lot -- >> why do we have to have gun
snows it's an oxymoron. it's a gun show. anyway, let's go to iran now. a tough one. i'm with you on the gun show thing. let me go back to david on iran. i think we're going to be united at the time we have to make a decision in this country on iran. i think we're going to decide we've got scientific evidence that they're weaponizing or they're just about to. and then the question is what does he do and have to do? david winston. the president. >> look, if there's -- nobody in this country, right? wherever you are in terms of the political spectrum. think it's a good for ahmadinejad to have a nuclear weapon. i think there's clear universal agreement. >> talk about gun control. >> right. i mean, but the dynamic here is what's the solution? i think you're right. i think because the problem is so huge and people are so scared of him getting a weapon of this scale that i think you'll see people wanting to figure out how to solve it and coming together to make that work. so i think that is an opportunity. having said that, clearly some of the things in terms of approaches to foreign policy have been dramatically different over the years, but ultimately i think the threat here is so large that you'll see both sides come together on this one.
>> i think this may be thrust upon him, blake, this one. i don't know if he's going to have much choice if they go to weaponization. >> as you know, this is a war-weary nation and we've had neocon rule for some time here. and you know, i was working in the senate a decade ago when there was a case made to the american people about weapons of mass destruction. so you know, i think i and many other americans are going to be naturally skeptical about that. and i think if it's at all possible to avoid war i think we can all agree that that's something we absolutely need to do -- >> let's get back to the principle. if we know they're about to build a nuclear weapon or they've just done it, they've made the decision. i mean, we hear stories about mossad will know through its various sources, its various moles, they'll know when the decision's made. if somebody wants to disagree with that. but we will have absolute certitude at the time the mullahs decide to move. we may know right then. blake? >> sure. >> what do we do then? >> look, i think any president will make the decision that if we have to protect the nation we'll do what we have to do. but i just want to be clear that we have been told in the past that there was weaponization and, you know, the case that was presented was not entirely -- >> i'm not going to listen to bibi. it's not bibi's call, by the way. it's our defense and we have to
make the right decision. let's talk immigration. everybody talks immigration. you hear the pro immigration people who represent the latino community generally say let's legalize everybody here at some point. fine. i think most people when it comes down to the deal that'll be part of it. but then you never hear them talk about the teeth. you never hear them say what law do you want to put in that the government of the united states is going to enforce to stop people from coming here at will that will be some liberal but enforceable system of deciding who gets to live in this country. are we ever going to get that done in a reasonable period of two years? david. >> i think clearly given this election there's motivation to figure this out. first up and i think everybody agrees no matter where you are the immigration system is completely and totally broken. even if we had a policy in place, there's no way we could enforce it because we have a border that there's no ability to do that. two, the idea of shipping home 11 million people at this point is clearly not something that's going to occur. there has to be some rational thought in terms of how do we get to i system that works. both sides have got to deal with a fact, conservatives have to he will da with the fact what do you do with 11 million people and how do you manage that and
liberals have to deal with the fact of how do you actually put a border in place that you can enforce a policy. because right now even if you had a policy there's no way tone force it because there's nothing in place on the border to make that work. >> he with can't even agree on a work permit. every country -- even swaziland has a work permit. we're the only country that seems to be embarrassed about having a work permit to work in this country. you can't go to belgium, france. you can't go to mexico and work without a work permit. and we're afraid to even have one. your thought, blake. why don't we even have the basic requirement of a work requirement -- of a work permit? >> actually, i agree with david in the sense that i think the election was actually a clarifying moment here. i'm not one to often say that oh, there were huge policy implications but -- >> got to go. >> from an election. but i agree with david that in this case it was clear there's got to be movement on this. >> i hope so. i really do. thank you, david winston. great guests. thank you, blake, same with you. we're watching "hardball" right now, the place for politics.
let me finish tonight with this. i have high hopes for president obama's second term. i have low hopes for the republican opposition in congress. i have rising hopes for the old reasonable republican party out there in real world, the party that resides in the eastern big states and actually deals with the real work of being big state governor, for example. so here we go. we've got to do something ab